Updated October 20, 2022
This page is about Armenia's expected citizenship-by-investment program. For more information on general naturalization requirements, treatment of family members, military service, tax consequences of becoming a citizen, etc., please check the main page on Armenian citizenship.
The Citizenship Law was amended on July 7, 2022 (effective from July 29, 2022), to allow the acquisition of Armenian citizenship by means of "making a significant economic contribution" to the country.
Text of the Amendment in English
"Citizenship of the Republic of Armenia can be granted, without the need to comply with sub-paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of the first paragraph or the second paragraphs of this article, to those who have provided exceptional services to the Republic of Armenia as well as to persons with a significant contribution in the areas of economy, science, education, culture, healthcare, athletics. The description and evaluation criteria of exceptional services as well as significant contribution in the areas of economy, science, education, culture, healthcare, athletics shall be defined by a decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia."
"Persons who have received citizenship of the Republic of Armenia in accordance with paragraph 4 of this article shall present themselves to the authorized body of the Government of the Republic of Armenia in order to participate in the oath ceremony and to receive a passport of a citizen of the Republic of Armenia."
"This law shall enter into force on the tenth day following its official publication, and the sub-legislative act referred to in article 1 of this law shall be enacted within 6 months after the entry into force of this law."
To summarize, Armenia now has a law that allows foreigners to acquire Armenian citizenship if they can show they have made a "significant contribution" in the area of economy (or culture, athletics, etc.). The law specifically exempts applicants from normally applicable naturalization requirements (knowledge of Constitution or Armenian language, residence in Armenia, etc.). The requirement to appear before the "authorized body" probably means that the applicant will have to travel to Armenia and get the passport at the Immigration Office (Police).
The evaluation criteria shall be enacted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Armenia by the end of January 2023. In the meantime, a draft decision was published on October 12, 2022, clarifying the meaning of "significant contribution." In particular, the following criteria are suggested:
- A donation of $150,000 to a scientific or educational foundation;
- Investment of $100,000 in an IT company or a venture fund;
- Investment of $150,000 in a company and hold the investment for 10 years;
- Purchase of $150,000 worth of government bonds and hold the investment for 7 years;
- Purchase of $150,000 worth of real estate and hold the investment for 10 years;
- Having 20+ years of work experience in a publicly traded IT company;
- Having 10+ years of work experience in science and authoring 5+ scientific articles;
- Being engaged in dissemination and preservation of Armenian culture, heritage, and identity;
- Having a scientific title of docent, professor in the area of healthcare.
On October 19th, Deputy Police Chief Ara Fidanyan stated that there will be a limit (quota) on the number of citizenships granted under the program and that the program will be further regulated by another Government Decree to address issues of national security, anti-money laundering, etc.
Draft Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia on Determining the Description and Evaluation Criteria of a Significant Contribution in Areas of Economy, Science, Education, Culture, Healthcare, Sports.
Annex 1. Description and Evaluation Criteria of a Significant Contribution in the Area of Economy
The following are the description and evaluation criteria of a significant contribution in the area of economy:
- Gratuitous provision of funds in the amount of at least USD 150,000 for the purpose of contributing to the endowment of a foundation established to operate in areas of education or science;
- Investment in the capital (acquisition of shares) of a company in the amount of at least USD 150,000, for a period of at least 10 years;
- Purchase of government bonds in the amount of at least USD 150,000, for a period of at least 7 years;
- Purchase of real estate in the amount of at least USD 150,000, for a period of at least 10 years, at the cadastral value approximated to the market value of the real property;
- Investment in any investment fund (approved by the government) in the amount of at least USD 150,000, for a period of at least 10 years;
- Establishment of a company operating in the area of high and/or information technologies with a capital of at least USD 1 million, provided that the center of vital interests of the founder is located in Armenia;
- Establishment of a branch office of a foreign information technologies company in Armenia with a capital of at least USD 100 million and at least 500 employees in Armenia;
- Establishment of a venture fund in Armenia with a capital of at least USD 80 million;
- Financial investment of at least USD 100,000 in a company operating in the area of information technologies or a venture fund;
- Having 20 or more years of work experience in high and/or information technology companies listed on the New York, Frankfurt or London stock exchanges;
- Long-term (not less than 5 years) active work in the international structures of the postal sector, as well as a making of financial, material and technical investments in the field of at least USD 250,000.
Annex 2. Description and Evaluation Criteria of a Significant Contribution in the Areas of Science, Education, Culture, Sports
The following are the description and evaluation criteria of a significant contribution in the areas of science, education, culture, sports:
- Having at least 10 years of work experience of scientific or scientific-technical nature, a scientific degree, an invention patent, or having national awards or honorary degrees in the field of science, and being the author or co-author of at least five scientific articles published in authoritative international scientific information databases during the last ten years;
- Significant contribution to the dissemination and development of Armenian culture, long-term active cooperation with Armenian figures or organizations of culture and art, significant participation in the preservation of Armenian culture, public and charitable activities, international recognition and reputation of the applicant, which can be used for the benefit of strengthening the international position and popularizing the Armenian culture;
- Taking an active part in the development of Armenology, philanthropy, long-term activities aimed at preservation of Armenianness, making significant investments, winning prizes in world prestigious competitions or festivals, carrying out innovative-experimental projects with substantial results, contributing to the preservation of Armenianness or acting for the benefit of Armenia.
Annex 3. Description and Evaluation Criteria of a Significant Contribution in the Area of Healthcare
The following are the description and evaluation criteria of a significant contribution in the area of healthcare:
- Having a scientific title of docent, professor in the area of healthcare or being awarded a national award or medal for active charitable activities, as well as other outstanding services in the area of healthcare;
- Providing medical assistance and service in the medical organizations of Armenia or Artsakh in times of war.
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